With our jobs, personal lives and hobbies to take up our time, it’s not always easy to set time aside for exercise.
When it comes to excuses for missing group fitness classes near me at the gym or deciding to miss a morning run, lack of time is one of the most common.
It’s particularly difficult to schedule a workout if your commute to and from work is particularly long - some people spend up to 4 hours travelling every day.
So, when you already spend 8 hours at the office, the thought of leaving your house to train is understandably uncomfortable.
Luckily, there are several solutions to this problem.
Here are some suggestions:
- Try to manage your time in such a way that allows you to work out. This may involve starting work earlier, leaving later, or exercising closer to your place of work.
- Find a personal trainer who can meet you close to your place of work, so you can schedule morning, lunchtime or after-work personal training sessions with them.
- Exercise while you work. There are lots of mini workouts you can do in the office sat at your desk, waiting for documents to print, or whilst making the tea. Staying active in the workplace will help you feel better and more alert during the day, as well as working out your body, of course!
How to Exercise While at Work
For anyone that works in a sedentary position such as in an office or behind a checkout, any chance of exercise may seem impossible.
However, there are lots of simple and easy ways to stretch your legs and give your body a break from sitting down.
Only 13% of athletes work out at or very near to their place of work.
The fitness industry has become such an integral part of our lives that it has worked its way into some places of work. Having gyms for the use of employees is growing in popularity with large companies. This gives people access to a workout space without having to spend any time travelling to gyms or health clubs.
And for the businesses that don’t have fully-equipped gyms, many have dedicated exercise rooms for their employees.
So, health and fitness training at work is possible!
Training Techniques in the Workplace
You don’t need any equipment to be able to exercise.
From brisk walking to light stretching, there are several healthy habits you can adopt that will increase your daily level of physical activity.
So, let’s have a look at some simple yet effective ways you can stay active wherever you may be!
Working Your Abdominal Muscles
All you need is your office chair.
- Sit up straight in your chair and breathe deeply and calmly whilst filling your tummy with air when you inhale.
- Hold each breath for a few seconds before exhaling through your mouth.
Gradually, your tummy will become tighter into your body as your abdominal muscles contract.
In addition to sculpting your figure, this exercise is great for releasing stress and calming yourself down.
- Another abdominal workout you could do is in your office chair again. Sit up straight and tense and release your abs, holding the contraction for a few seconds each time. You should be able to feel your muscles working.
- This exercise is a good one to do while you’re working to tone your tummy – and don’t forget to breathe!
If you want to spice these exercises up:
- Sit in your office chair
- Place your hands on either side of your chair and lift yourself up using only your arm strength
- Repeat this exercise up to 15 times, holding each lift for a few seconds whilst breathing normally
Calf Strengthening Exercises
This exercise must be done when standing up, meaning you can do it while photocopying or on the phone, for example.
- Pull your tummy in
- up tall, as if someone is pulling upwards on a string attached to the top of your head
- Stand on your tip-toes for 10 seconds
If you repeat this exercise several times a day, your calf muscles will become stronger and more toned.
Stretching Your Arms
Relaxing your arms and shoulders can help a lot when it comes to managing stress.
- Sit up straight in your office chair
- Keeping a straight spine, raise your arms above your head, crossing your hands with your palms towards the ceiling
- Breathe slowly and push your palms upwards for 5 seconds at a time
- Next, lean to the right, then relax (your pelvis shouldn’t move)
- Repeat this on your left side
This exercise helps to stretch your muscles and improves flexibility in your arms, shoulders and pelvis.
Working Your Adductors
This is a very simple exercise that may come in handy in a meeting or interview which is getting a bit boring.
Your adductors are the muscles on the insides of your thighs - here’s how to give them a good workout:
- Sit in your office chair
- your feet together
- Imagine you’re holding a leaf between your knees
- Squeeze your legs together for 20 seconds, then relax
Do this exercise three times a day and your thighs will be rock-solid in no time!
Tone Your Glutes
If Summer is on its way and your posterior has been in hibernation for the winter, don’t worry, there is a way you can get it looking its best!
- Sit in your office chair or stand
- Tense your gluteus maximus muscles one at a time
- Hold each contraction for 10 seconds
- Repeat this 10 to 20 times
A key advantage to this particular exercise is the fact that you can do it without anyone knowing! So, do it at your desk, in a meeting, or even while you’re giving a presentation!
This exercise strengthens and tones your legs, so you can bid goodbye to orange peel skin before holiday season begins.
- Sit in your office chair
- Keeping your back straight, lift your feet a few centimetres off the ground until they no longer touch the floor
- Keep your abs tensed and try to hold the position for 10-15 seconds
- By repeating the exercise several times a day, you’ll build up your stamina and be able to hold the pose for longer
Here’s another good leg workout to try, which is particularly good for those who spend a lot of time working on a computer:
- Sit up straight in your chair
- Extend one leg, leaving the other in the sitting position, and hold this for 10-15 seconds depending on how much of a challenge you want
- Repeat this with the other leg
- Do this exercise 10 times for each leg
Some exercises are more suited to some types of work more than others. It’s important that you find the right one for you, or find a way of adapting some exercises so that you may still benefit from them.
Personal Fitness Training During Your Lunch Break
If you get enough time for your lunch break, why not use it to work out?
In addition to being able to provide expert advice on functional training techniques, avoiding injury, resistance training, fitness nutrition and avoiding injury, your personal fitness instructor will also be able to give you a new, rewarding focus to take your mind off your job.
It’s not difficult to find a personal trainer who can come to you. This means that you can arrange to meet them at your place of work to save you time and money on travel.
Having a private fitness coach to lead a workout while you’re at work can help combat the low morale and decreased level of general wellbeing that is reported in so many office jobs.
Let’s take a look at the many other advantages to using your lunch breaks for personal training:
- Flexibility: Your certified personal trainer will work around you and your working hours. This means that you will spend less time travelling and more time being productive in one way or another.
- Tailored Training: Whatever your fitness ability, your personal fitness specialist will carry out a full fitness assessment before you start to create a tailored training program that suits your needs and fitness goals using their exercise program design skills. So, whether its cardio endurance, Pilates, aerobic ability, or strength training you want to work on, your fitness trainer will provide a personalised fitness program that is suited to you and your career.
- Expert Knowledge: Your trainer will tell you that fitness programs are less effective if they’re not accompanied by an adapted nutrition plan. Personal trainers don’t just earn their living as a fitness professional either – they’re also highly knowledgeable when it comes to fitness nutrition, too. They’ll be able to advise you on the things in your diet you should change to achieve your fitness goals. Bear in mind that advice from a personal trainer isn’t a luxury, and becoming a personal trainer isn’t an easy feat. You must fit gruelling exams to get certified and earn your personal training certification before you start practising. This means that you can rest assured that their advice is accredited, and you will be able to use their fitness expertise to provide you with useful advice on anything from working your calves to the frequency of resistance training.
Respect for Your Ability: Your face to face or online personal trainer will be able to look at your physiology and body composition and decide what is best for you in terms of workout intensity and training techniques so that they can motivate you through your session and return to work feeling energised.
- Wellbeing: The working atmosphere can become stressful all of a sudden. Thankfully, personal training can help you release any built-up tension that is caused by this.
The gentle exercises you incorporate into your working day can also become a part of your personal life. Even if you are retired, you can do these exercises at home - remember, you are never too old to get fit! If you are still in school, you can exercise between classes or during your lunch break, though perhaps not actually in class.
There are two very simple ways you can keep active in your day-to-day life as well as at work.
The first change you can make is ditching your car or public transport and walking instead, where possible.
It could be anything from walking to work to simply leaving the office to eat your lunch in a green area rather than at your desk, for instance.
The second minor change you can make is taking the stairs.
This is a good workout which isn’t difficult to practice – there are staircases everywhere.
And even if the only choice is to take an escalator, walk up the steps at it’s moving – you’ll be moving faster whilst also getting a good workout!